Blackhawks Fall To Flames In OT

Both teams scored a short-handed goal and neither starting netminder finished the game as the Blackhawks and Flames skated to an overtime decision. Unfortunately, as has been the trend in 2014, extra hockey ended with the Hawks disappointed as the Flames emerged with a 5-4 victory.

Smith CGY

Mikael Backlund scored to give the Flames a lead only 73 seconds into the game, but Patrick Kane scored the Hawks’ first goal of the game to erase the one-goal deficit less than six minutes into the contest.

Lance Bouma scored Calgary’s second goal of the first period at 11:34 into the first, a second soft goal against for Chicago starter Antti Raanta. Marian Hossa scored the first of his two game-tying goals five minutes after Bouma’s tally, getting a stick on a Jonathan Toews’ rebound. The goal was initially credited to Patrick Sharp, who was also in the area, but was ultimately given to Hossa.

Calgary opened the second period controlling the action. Matt Stajan scored his ninth goal of the season at 3:21, and Backlund added his second goal of the night, a short-handed score, at 10:25 to end Raanta’s evening. Coach Joel Quenneville made a change between the pipes after Raanta allowed four goals against 15 shots in just over 30 minutes.

With Corey Crawford in net, the Hawks offense woke up. Ben Smith scored a big goal less than three minutes after Backlund’s short-handed goal, a shot that hit Calgary starter Reto Berra’s glove but found its way into the net. Hossa added a short-handed goal to tie the game in the final three minutes of the second period, and that would be the end of Berra’s night.

Berra was removed after the second period, allowing four goals against 24 shots.

In the third period, both teams would have chances but neither would score. Crawford stopped 10 shots in regulation and Karri Ramo would stop nine in the third period to force overtime.

And in overtime, for the ninth time in their last 10 overtime games, the Blackhawks came up short. TJ Brodie scored 2:26 into the extra session to send the Hawks to Vancouver with only one point. The Blackhawks failed to get a single shot on net in overtime, and Crawford stopped three of Calgary’s four shots.

The Hawks successfully killed both of Calgary’s power plays, extending the team’s penalty kill streak to 16 straight in their last six games.

Brandon Pirri started the game on the second line between Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg, and won four of eight faceoffs in the opening period. He failed to win any of only three faceoffs in the game’s final 40 minutes, however. Pirri skated 15:05 in the game and was credited with one hit.

Bryan Bickell returned from being a “healthy” scratch to once again skate the lowest ice time total – only 10:01 – on the roster. He was credited with two hits, but his play on Stajan’s goal was replayed a number of times during the broadcast. He once again looked tentative and slow, and a player that needs his confidence to be effective has absolutely none.

For Calgary, Lee Stempniak was credited with three assists, Backlund had two goals and Stajan was credited with one assist with one goal.

Michal Handzus got the night off with Pirri re-joining the team, and Smith stepped up with 2:14 in short-handed ice time. Smith also won four of eight faceoffs in the game and was credited with one takeaway.

Chicago has gone to overtime in seven of 13 games in January and have lost six times; their only win came in the shootout against Boston at the United Center.

The Blackhawks are back in action on Wednesday night in Vancouver.

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62 Responses to Blackhawks Fall To Flames In OT

  1. Mining Man says:

    How the heck do the Blackhawks, THE Blackhawks, give up a three on one during a “power play”. What!? Thankfully Hossa got it back with a shorty himself but come on! Well at least we know we are the equal of the Galgary Flames, until OT that is in whiuch case I have no idea why we bother to show up. Just take the one point and go shower…to heck with it. Sorry guys but I’m somewhat po’d.

  2. Mining Man says:

    At least the Wild took Anaheim in their rink ….so miraculously we actually gained a point on them. Still po’d though .

  3. ebonyraptor says:

    The Hawks are just plain and simple a bad team right now. They have very good players but are not playing a good team game – both offensively and defensively. Especially defensively. Their team defense is about as bad as I can remember it being in quite some time and their goaltending isn’t nearly good enough to continuously bail out the defensive lapses.

    It’s not simply that the players aren’t giving enough effort, although there have been a few games during this swoon where that may have been true. It’s more like the players are tired mentally and making mistakes that a veteran championship team should not continue to make. I think there’s an element of looking for a shortcut which leads to poor plays where instead of the heroic play the player had in mind when he tried to skate through three players, he ends up losing the puck and the other team gets an odd man rush.

    Being tired mentally leads to poor decision making, and I think this hangover like fatigue is making cowards out of our heroes. Not cowards in the literal sense, but guys and don’t have the will power to fight through adversity and instead look to hit homeruns instead of grinding out tough goals.

    I still love my Hawks and think the world of our players. I’m pretty sure they want to play better than this but simply don’t have the juice to do so. I can’t blame them for that. I’ll support them through thick and thin and we’ve had a lot of thick over the last 5-6 years so it’s inevitable we’re going to get some thin along the way and this is what’s happening right now.

    Hopefully they get it together before the end of the season and make the playoffs and we’ll see what happens then. Still a long way to go.

  4. wall says:

    JS- I told you there was a goalie controversy… LaBARBs Vs. Raanta for the AHL JOB!!!

    AJ- let’s skate 29 back to health… NOT!!! Bickell looked like he was in street shoes while 3 Flames and 2 Hawks skated past him on Flames 1st goal…At least 29 was smart enough to “take a dive” on the 2nd period goal- so He didn’t get passed by while skating (technically-he was on his ass)
    Oduya looked gassed – again
    Pirri looked OK
    Kruger is playing well
    Hoss was great
    Saad doesn’t look very comfortable on Right side

    They need to either sit Bix- IR or protect him w/ 19/88 or 19/81
    IR-
    10/19/81
    23/37/88 or 20/37/88
    20/26/65 or 23/65/11

    This team as is – isn’t going deep in playoffs… let’s see what kids can play/develop into the roll players the Hawks need to go deep!!!

  5. Mining Man says:

    You are correct ebonyraptor…..I will never lose the spirit for the Blackhawks. Tonite proved that Raanta is mortal and Crawford let in his obligatory one softie so it was inevitable. Too bad.,,,going to be a rough on this road trip I fear…lets hope our Olympians are not gassed upon returning …the Indian Head logo requires a hidden gear and lots of heart…something currently not functioning.

  6. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Lots of blame to go around. Sloppy defensive play, poor goaltender and poor results in the extra time. Are the Hawks in danger of having a losing month? When was the last time that happened. This reminds me of when the Hawks had a 9 game winless streak after a torrid start. I think that was the Phx playoff year. Let’s get to the Olympics already.

  7. Morrison says:

    These recent 3-4 wks havnt been fun (because of what were used to/especially 13). Though were still ahead of the pace at 32-10, then the yrs we finished 46-22 & 52-22 and those yrs ended up really good too. Its not as bad it may seem… In those 2 yrs we had a few off wks & in the last 10-20 went on a run. I see the same thing this yr, it reminds me of 09 & 10. Its not like 11 or 12, those yrs we didn’t have a full roster.

  8. Morrison says:

    It doesn’t matter what ana record is, unless we win the division.

  9. Mike says:

    ER, I agree and have stated several times, Hawks seem like they expect to win against teams they should beat without 100% effort for 60 minutes. Call it fatigue, hangover, injuries or whatever, all teams need to play 60 minutes every night and right now the Hawks are not doing so. 100% effort against only top tier teams will not do!

    Pirri looked OK……better fit than Handzus. Unfortunate puck off the ankle may have slowed his game a little, too bad, that’s hockey. His positioning looked OK for the most part and it looked like he was willing to go hard behind the net. He will make the second line better.

    Bickell is, unfortunately, a HUGE liability right now. PLEASE don’t “protect” him by putting him on the 1st or 2cd lines. Hawks need to put him on the IR until after the Olympics….or longer. I would like to see Morin get another shot, but I don’t care who they send up. As long as Kostka or Brookbank are not asked to fill that role.

    I think Rosival should be back in the lineup consistantly….maybe 2 out of every 3 games. Oduya needs some time off badly. Brookbank is capable as the 7th D man. Kostka is the odd man out…..so get him off the game roster.

    4th line was excellent once again.

  10. wall says:

    Mike- let’s be honest…any line skating Bickell IS the 4th line at this point!!!

    D-men CANNOT pinch w/ Bickell on the ice… or the result will be Bickell impersonating a Revolving Door at the blue-line trying to cover for the D-man…that’s not fair to the Revolving Door… Door might actually slow someone down…

  11. noonan96 says:

    I think this type of play is the reality for now-can they pick it up after the Olympics? Not sure. They looked tired, disorganized, making poor choices etc. –sounding like a broken record.
    It was a fun game to watch if I wasn’t cheering for one of the teams. Pirri was just Ok but it takes awhile to adjust to the quicker pace-hopefully he’ll help Kaner. People will say “they’re pros getting millions, suck it up”, but the team is tired physically and mentally and half the team has Sochi on the mind and don’t want to get hurt.

    One of the best things in hockey is watching Kane hit the blue line with the puck and a full head of steam

  12. goldenbladz says:

    The Hawks seem to always play the puck back to the defensemen in the offensive zone which isn’t a bad play but the way they do it blindly causes a lot of turnovers and odd man rushes the other way and leads to goals. Time to send Raanta down to Rockford for some playing time as we was AWFUL and cost the Hawks that game. The goaltending drives me crazy (and its not just the Defence and forwards backingchecking). I don’t recall any big saves or any outstanding performances that steal games for the Hawks like goalies of other teams. Check out the save that Bernier made on M St.L last night to save that game for the Leafs. Raanta gives up a weak A$$ goal seconds into the game……headshake……not a good start for a struggling team.

  13. Mike says:

    Wall…..no doubt about that. Bickell must be pulled from the line up until such a time when he is able or willing to give 100%. He looked like a little kid who just got beat up last night. No hunger, no fight.

  14. Sr. Brad's Parrott says:

    BRAUKKK….roll 4 lines, roll 4 lines…

    BRAUKKK….Q’s a bum, Q’s a bum…

    BRAUKKK…Bollig sucks, Bollig sucks…

    BRAUCKKK…play Pirri more, play Pirri more…

  15. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    A wretched effort…

    1. Bickell, was again, inexplicably horrendous on 3/4’s of his shifts. If its me, he is a healthy scratch until further notice.

    2. Shaw had a really dumb game, which he can be prone to on a few ocassions.

    3. Seabrook played like he didn’t give a rip and had gotten 20 minutes sleep the night before. Should be raked over the coals for his play last night.

    4. Like Raanta, but the book is officially out on him on how to beat him low. And if goes down butterfly, then he doesn’t have the body mass to recover on a top corner shelf blister shot.

    5. Crawford needs to stand on his head once in awhile. Fair to be ticked off with him on that front.

    6. Keith and Sharp need to cut down their wild-eyed shots on goal. Ironic and counterintuitive as that may sound. Getting real sick of both of them taking ill advised and rushed shots on the net…move the puck around..get in closer for a better shot. Both need a talking to.

    7. Pirri cannot skate, period. Pirri is essentially useless in two-way play. He’ll be back in the doghouse for good by Vancouver if last night was any indicator.

  16. Sr. Brad says:

    Lots of doom and gloom here this morning, and there doesn’t need to be…its a long season, and the ONLY thing that matters is how the Hawks are playing in the last 5 or 6 heading into the playoffs…one win in STL or ANA during the playoffs and everything that they may have done to finish 1st in the west is erased…

    What’s important is that Q figures out his best lineup heading into the post season…there is simply too much talent, heart, experience and compete from this bunch to lose in the 1st round…it ISN’T going to happen…guaranteed…the Hawks are the best team in the NHL, even if they are not showing it right now…they did the first half of the season…and there were LOTS of good things about last nights game…

    * Brandon Pirri…unfortunately he wasn’t quite the same player after taking that shot to his ankle, but his play sparked the 2nd line and allowed Q to roll 4 lines…and guess what, we didn’t lose in regulation…because when we roll 4 lines, we don’t…

    * Sharp coming alive again on the 1st line while Hoss/Toews stay hot…

    * Shaw/Saad are beasts on that 3rd line, and if we can find them a winger (see Jeremy Morin, Joakim Nordstrom or Garret Ross) then that line will dominate…

    * the 4th line has stayed hot and Smith/Kruger have taken their games to another level…this isn’t that they are just “hot” right now, both of these young men have found another gear and have loads of confidence…Smith has become a beast taking the puck to the net, and if Bollig starts learning to actually crash the net, he will begin to score a bundle of tip ins, etc, from the garbage that Smith/Kruger create…

    * Leddy/Rozy are a good 3rd pairing, and you know this will be the duo come playoff time…Leddy was slow/tenative on the wrap around in OT, but overall, they were a good pairing…Keith/Sebs are Keith/Sebs, they will be fine…Hammer is Hammer and he will be fine…right now its Oduya that is the “odd man out” on D…he’s slower, he’s tentative, and he’s weaker on the puck…and I am sure its just from being a little tired and a little dinged up…

    Now, if we had decent goaltending, we win that game…and as Wall and others have said, it really doesn’t benefit Raanta sitting on the bench for almost 2 weeks before he plays…the weakness in his game comes from atrocious net positioning and that can be practised all you want, it won’t get fixed until he fixes DURING GAMES…many of you don’t follow the Hogs game to game, but I can tell you, LaBarbera has been special…there is NO reason to worry about him coming up…if he’s been that good in Rockford where he doesn’t get a lot of help, he will be very, very good here with help. So perhaps the best thing for everyone right now is if Raanta gets a good stretch in Rockford to work on his game, and LaBarabera settles things down here…

    CC should NOT have let that OT goal in…he panicked with the loose puck in front of the net, and put himself down and out, when he didn’t have to…there is no reason a slow DMan should have beaten him so cleanly on that wrap around…again, when CC came in he settled things down for the Hawks and did well, but AGAIN, a soft goal ultimately hurt his game and our team…

    So really, whatever happens in Vancouver, relax…the worst is over…Q sat Zus and let Pirri play enabling us to roll 4 lines…Bollig is a lot better on the 4th line…its just Bickell now…I would have thought the benching and all of the attention he has received would have wakened him up, it didn’t…something needs to give here, and JS, you can’t defend Bicks any longer after that effort last night…he isn’t coming around, and I know you can see that.

    Have faith brothers…the Hawks are likely going to win another Cup this season…its just going to take a little time to right the ship, but its coming…Q hates to lose and loves to win…

  17. wall says:

    POLLY want a Cracker…POLLY want a cracker!!!!

    Sr. Brad…Ya gotta admit that is one fucn-funny Parrot …

    And – I do agree with the Rufus…I mean the Parrot on one thing … the Rolling of 4 lines… Only works if 6,17,26,29 aren’t skating or skating like Bruno!!!

  18. Sr. Brad says:

    rufie, you are a child…this is a Hawks blog site…we are all Hawk’s fans and cheering for our team…enough with the silliness and if you want to post here, then contribute meaningfully…

    Pirri was good last night and a meaningful addition to the team, if you can’t see that, the reality that we are able to field 4 lines again, then fine…but you don’t need to hate everything and everyone…

    Grow up.

  19. Sr. Brad says:

    Wall the “4 lines” works all the time…and it doesn’t allow for any stragglers…and last night showed it…even with atrocious goaltending, we tied that game in regulation…and Bickell stood out like a sore thumb…everyone is talking about it this morning, that there must be something wrong with Bickell…whether there is or not, the Hawks still did NOT lose in regulation rolling 4 lines…this is how we are and what we do…

    Did any of you read Q’s comments yesterday morning about the Pirri addition??? Q said directly we HAVE TO GET BACK TO ROLLING 4 LINES, that’s what we are all about as a team…it keeps our star players fresh deep into games…and that’s why Wall this morning should be about optimism and not pessimism…the Hawks, with Pirri in the lineup, now have 4 lines that can all skate meaningful minutes…the Bickell situation will get dealt with soon…either by Bickell or by MGT…things are looking up, except for the Parrot…

  20. Sr. Brad says:

    And again rufie you are consistently wrong, even in your parroting…

    Bollig has improved his effort and his play…he doesn’t suck, but should rotate with a young player on that 4th line…if you call that hating, then, again, you are out to lunch.

    Q does not suck and I have NEVER said so…he struggles with his lineups and personnel decisions, and he has admitted so himself…he’s a HOF coach and the biggest reason why this team of huge offensive talent has won 2 SCs…again, if you think that means I hate Q, you are out to lunch…

    Roll 4 lines rufie? Over the past 48 hours both Toews and coach Q have come out publicly and stated that we must get back to rolling 4 lines…it doesn’t get any clearer than that…

    Again, you are wrong on EVERYTHING that you just said…but have at it…just do so without the profanities or the hate..we are all Hawk’s fans…

  21. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    I’ve been a Hawks fan since the mid 70’s. Seen a lot of hockey in my days…continue to play the sport recreationally in an old man’s league. Doesn’t make me an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do trust my assessments.

    Reality? This team doesn’t make it out of the 2nd round of the playoffs unless something dramatic happens real quick. We are seeing a mentally gassed team that doesn’t look like it has can rise to the ocassion. It’s almost as though a cadence has developed where every ounce of effort and good fortune goes into maniacally doing what it takes to win a Cup. But now? This looks like it’s going to be a “rest year.” It’s a pyscyhological thing more than anything. Boston has this same issue two years ago.

    Last year this team clicked on nearly all cylinders and got VERY underrated production and effort out of Frolik and Bickell. This team also lost the enigmatic Bolland, but whose ferocious two-way defensive play is SORELY missed. The ying and yang balance of roles has been throw completely out of whack. The harmony of the lines is gone for now. Shaw is vivid example. Last year he was permitted to deliver at his highest and best use as a plucky, pain in the ass, Dirk Graham Lite type. This year? Out of necessity he’s being asked to do more. He can’t be Bolland folks.

  22. JS says:

    20 comments and not a single mention of Versteeg? He made so many stupid decisions with the puck last night that I’d need my toes to count them all. That was a great pass he made to Kane for the first goal, but Jesus Christ he made some stupid plays that pinned the Hawks in their D Zone for WAY too long.

    Bickell’s play last night is inexcusable. That is, by far, the worst he has played since coming back. He looked tentative the entire night, probably has to do with getting benched. The announcers didn’t say it, but when he cycled to the point did he pipe his shot? I thought I heard it but we never saw a replay and Foley was drunk, again.

    Goalie controversy! (I was thinking about you after the second goal Wall)

    Pirri made a lot of great defensive plays. I think I only saw him out of position once and really, a d man just lost his guy, not Pirri. Also, it took about 2 minutes of Kane playing with Pirri for Kane to score a 5 on 5 goal. Can anyone tell me how many 5 on 5 goals Kane got with Handzus on the ice? Oh, zero? Weird. Good thing they skated together for 25% of the season. Again, I don’t think Pirri is the perfect answer, but he’s better than Handzus.

    Shaw made server dumb plays and two of them led directly to goals for Calgary. First, his pass 4 feet off the ice to Saad in the middle of the zone when Leddy had pinched in deep. I felt bad for Bickell since Shaw left him out to dry. Second, on the SHG, Shaw just left Sharp alone at the point against two Flames when he was fighting for possession of the puck. Shaw was drunk last night.

    Seabrook needs to be benched. He made so many lazy plays last night and how many times can he let someone skate through him or easily make a pass on an odd man rush?

  23. wall says:

    Brad- My Half-empty point of view on the”roll 4 lines”… Hawks ALWAYS skate 4 lines… (the amount of actual playing times- are always contingent on the individual game, PP/PK time, and Individual performances)… The performances ARE the issue!!!
    26 has been somewhat resolved,,, D-man skating as 3rd W,,,can be fixed/helped w/ call up…BUT that $4M Pylon??? No EASY fix there!!! AND Q can roll’em all he wants…
    If they skate like shit…they play like shit… The 3rd line has gone from being the most fun to watch last year…To…I just watch and laugh to see who is going to get torched, Bickell is so slow now– he can’t hit anyone!!! He can’t even keep up with his shadow…

    I agree w/ ER/Rufus…Hawks in general have “hit the Wall”- Even 19/10 aren’t creating as many chances as past…Mental/physical??? The Only forwards that are consistently playing w/ energy,heart- every nite last few weeks- In order-81,16,28,88,20- and 16,28- just ain’t that good to finish, 88 has had several posts,been robbed

    But you can’t roll 4 lines (and look good w/ 29 skating like shit, 20 playing wrong side, playing 17,6 on wing)… with current roster…

  24. Tab Bamford says:

    “Seabrook needs to be benched.”

    Yes, because the alternatives – Oduya getting 24 minutes & one of Rozsival, Brookbank and/or Kostka getting 20 – are better.

    If you don’t like how a guy’s playing, fine. But be rational/employ common sense on occasion. Look at the gong show the blue line was w/out Keith. You want that when it doesn’t have to be a clusterf***? Please…

  25. wall says:

    JS- Aawww!!! I was thinking about you before the game started!!!

  26. JS says:

    Tab- Putting Keith and Seabrook on the same level is laughable. If benching him makes him get out of a 2 year long slump of mediocrity, it’s worth it, even if it costs you a game. He has been consistently bad and needs a wake up call. Roszival can play with Keith and Brookbank can skate with Leddy. Maybe it will make the forwards play more defensively responsible in the process.

  27. Tab Bamford says:

    From an ice time accommodation perspective, Seabrook is a significant piece on the blue line, JS. Advocating a significant increase in ice time for one of the bottom 3 defensemen and sitting a healthy Seabrook “even if it costs you a game” made me chuckle. Has he been great every night this year? No. That’s why he’s watching Canada from home in February… and perhaps that’s the catalyst the Hawks need for him to wake up in March & into the postseason. But sitting him at the expense of a game? No.

  28. JS says:

    Seabrook had 16 more seconds of icetime than Rozsival yesterday. That would be a pretty significant increase for Rozsival to match that, I guess.

  29. Tab Bamford says:

    I love when people purposefully look up one line in a box score and ignore the rest… or didn’t watch the game.

    Rozsival skated 16 fewer seconds than Seabrook last night. He was also -2 in the game.

    Rozsival has skated over 19 minutes in a game 4 times since the start of December. He’s -4 in those games with 4 PIM and zero (0) points. And one of those four games was the 7-2 win over the Avs in December…

    But yes, let’s continue advocating for an older player that needs to rest for 2 out of every 3 games to take Seabrook’s spot (averaging 21:55 per night).

  30. JS says:

    He’d probably have more points if he was skating next to Duncan Keith and behind the best line in the NHL.

    Corsi for last 4 games skating over 19 mintues: 71.9 73, 53.6, 76.9 (these are insane). Getting negative ratings with positive Corsi ratings generally doesn’t happen, or at least it won’t over the course of a season.

    I’m not saying that Rozsival is as good as Seabrook, but there is not an insane falloff when Seabrook plays like he did last night.

  31. Phil says:

    These OT losses and shootouts have to be bottoming out. How can it get worse? You can’t get worse than zero results!!!The Hawks have fallen into the black hole every team seems to find during the season. Despite the lousy January record we are still losing games/points by a slim margin. Mental fatigue due to a busy period last year when we won the Cup, along with a lot of games played in the first half of the season with a bulls eye on their backs has had much to do with this team being where they are.

    Too many d zone turnovers lately has become a recurring problem. This can and most likely will get fixes. 4/27 pairing has been noticeable in this regard. Other 2 pairs are not innocent. Team defence has won the hawks 2 Cups in 4 years. If they get back to playing this concept with discipline the wins will come. The Hawks strength on offense comes from good d zone coverage leading to breakouts the other way. Sounds simple, but it is true. The Hawks have the horses to play this system even though some of the parts are not working as well as they should.

    Hawks back to 4 lines last night was positive. Raanta was not on his game, and the shorty was really a bad play that should not happen very often. The Hawks usually are strong in the puck management department.

    Power play getting some chances and pk is improving.

    Bicks is like taking medicine right now. It doesn’t taste good, but it eventually will help you get better. It may an off season surgery issue for him. I believe he is a better players than what he is showing right now, not that is saying much given current output. Sorry, that is the best I can come up with this morning… Versteeg had a much better game last night. Current lines as of last night looked improved from what we have seen recently. Seabs will get his rest soon enough. Benching him for more than one game would be silly IMO. A healthy scratch though for a game? Not sure what that does for his game mentally. I don’t see the need to start throwing darts at the Hawks fix-it board for solutions. I think Pirri helped last night without showing on the score sheet.

    Hossa has been amazing the past few weeks. It is as though he is actually getting stronger at a time when many guys are hitting “the wall”.

    Nucks should be licking their chops to play us on a back to back. Even though the Hawks have been pretty competitive with back to back games, a strong start from Van tonight could bury us. Lets hope whomever is between the pipes tonight(probably Crow) rolls his A game.

    I’m still a glass half full guy with this Hawks team. It’s late January. There is lots of hockey to be played. The Rockford shuttle should be used up to the Olympic break. Needed rest is a few weeks away for most of the guys. We get .500 on this trip and I am a happy guy. Keep in mind(knocking on wood) we are healthier than most teams in the NHL. This is not a physically broken down team. The mental stuff where lots of our problems have come from can improve and probably will. This is still a good team that can compete with the upper echelon. Let’s get to the Olympic break healthy and start building towards the Spring and the real season.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  32. wall says:

    I like Rosey… but he is the highest paid Hawk (by FAR- on $$$/per minute basis)- Even Bickell can’t touch him – in this department…

    Speaking of Plus/Minus…If Bickell skated as much as 88/81… he would be around a -20 right now… BUT we should “skate/play him out of his injury/funk”!!!
    Now that is laughable!!!

    Bring up some kids… see if any one has a future… Move some dead-weight…
    at worst- you see what the Kids can/can’t do!!! Includes a C-dening, or D-beck…

  33. Pete says:

    Boy that St. Louis has a great schedule. Here we are in the dog days of the season with everyone exhausted and they have played the least number of games in the entire nhl and 3 less than the Hawks who have played the most games thus far. Well you figure it will even out soon right. Guess again. We play today(back to back) and they don’t play again until Friday. When playoff time comes everything evens out and then I like the Hawks to beat St. Louis and get to the finals. Go Hawks.

  34. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Not sure what the debate on Seabrook is all about. Seabrook was awful last night. And he’s been generally a problem on and off for 6 weeks.

    Love Seabrook, but laughable to think he deserved to be on the Canadian Olympic team. I said it at the time of the selection, I’ll certainly say that now. He should definitely benefit from a 3 week break.

  35. AJ says:

    Whelp, glad I went to bed after the first period…

    Seriously though, still don’t care how bad Bickell plays, the dude needs minutes. Any way they could IR him, then toss him in the AHL for a week or two week long rehab assignment without having to deal with waivers? That may be a compromise that a lot of us could agree on?

  36. Phil says:

    AJ, I agree that 29 needs minutes UNLESS his knees are really restricting his skating ability. Whatever formula works is fine with me as far as getting him back on his game.

  37. JS says:

    I THINK that they would have to LTIR Bickell to create cap space to call someone else up. That means he misses a minimum of 10 games and 24 days before he is allowed to go on a rehab assignment.

    I’m not sure how rehab assignments work for non-LTIR situations. But if they can just IR him, they would have to demote Kostka to bring up a different forward. However, Q being Q, he’d probably rather skate Kostka at forward.

    Another tidbit of information, Pirri is out of options. He can’t be demoted without clearing waivers. He’s either up for the long haul or he’ll be traded.

  38. Sr. Brad says:

    Bringing Pirri up and allowing the Hawks to roll 4 lines already paid dividends…sometimes we just can’t see the forrest for the trees…even though this team looks tired, and is on the road in Vancouver, back to back, the Hawks are going to be uber tough tonight…because ultimately we still have the best talent in the league, one of the best coaches and the best captain…

    Don’t fool yourselves or get all twisted up…the Hawks are a VERY good hockey team and are still odds on favourites to repeat…it may take getting past the Olympic break for everything to level out, but it will…the Bickell situation will resolve itself…and the Handzus situation has been dealt with…

    Guys like Seabrook, Oduya and even Crawford who have been “in and out” lately, are PROS and CHAMPIONS…they get it…they see the bigger picture and they will respond…watch for a huge game from the Hawks tonight…and I even predict that if Bickell is healthy, he’ll have a good game…

    All is well guys…

  39. Sr. Brad says:

    As for the harsh comments about Seabrook…how many GMs in the NHL would take Seabrook on right now with his current contract??? The answer would be EVERY GM in the league…Seabrook is a TOP DMan who has his moments…remember, the guy played through 3 concussions in 2 years…he may still not be a 100%…what I do know about Brent, is that he is a WARRIOR and a CHAMPION…I’ll take him any day, thank you.

  40. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    Despite all the doom and gloom and an “off” month the Hawks believe it or not still have the least amount of Regulation loses in the most games. Granted they also have the most OT loses too. So they tells me that this team is “in” all games including last nights OT loss. They are a good team going through a tough stretch. They do have a few holes on their roster and I think everyone has pointed them out time and time again. Vancouver will get up for the Hawks so it will be interesting to see how the Hawks respond. They have played well in Van City recently.

  41. Sr. Brad's Parrot says:

    BRAUKKK…Q is a bum, Q is a bum…

    BRAUKKK…Seabrook is God, Seabrook is God…

  42. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Crikey. Nobody threw Seabrook under the bus. Nobody. That said, Seabrook has been mediocre and inconsistent in reason weeks. And saying he had no business on a deep Canadian Olympic team loaded with defensive options isn’t an indictment on his past, present and future with the Hawks.

    The Hawks aren’t remotely in good shape right now. This team isn’t last year’s team. Not close in fact. And no, a light switch can’t simply be flipped on come the playoffs. This team’s weaknesses and shortcomings are rearing their ugly head BEFORE the playoffs start, which is a blessing on some level. More importantly and the real soberer is the fact that this team is showing mounting signs that the 2013-14 isn’t going to result in a viable Cup run.

    Making the playoffs is half the battle. But honestly I don’t see the energy level or the crucial role players in place. Work, and rest, is needed in the offseason.

  43. ebonyraptor says:

    I’m not a mediator on this site so my “bark” has no official “bite”, but I am a regular reader and poster and I feel the need to say something about the ongoing war of words between Sr. Brad and Rufus T. Firefly.

    It needs to stop.

    I’m not taking sides in anyway and I can honestly say I enjoy reading comments and opinions from both of you guys. At times I find myself agreeing with your position and other times I’m in disagreement – for both of you guys. But what has become increasingly tiresome is having to wade through the crap the two of you throw at each other. I don’t want to ignore your posts because, as I stated earlier, I enjoy reading your comments and opinions, but if this continues I will inevitably get to the point where I skip reading your posts and others may do the same. I would much rather that you guys knock off the personal attacks and keep things at a civil level.

    We all want to contribute and we can all be wrong at times. It’s OK. Arguing for your position and even getting heated about it is part and parcel of message boards and to be expected and part of the entertainment factor that keeps me coming back, but personal attacks that span days/weeks/months are not something I find entertaining. Please consider the rest of us here and be the bigger man and not respond to personal attacks.

  44. wall says:

    BLAAAHHCCKKHHAAWWWKKK!!!!!!
    Give ER a cracker!!!!

  45. SouthSideHawkMan says:

    One more Hawks thought for today and this one is about the playoffs. Under the new playoff format the Hawks will need to either go through or beat out both the Blues and Av’s this season. I don’t see the Avs claiming the division so the Hawks will host the Avs and then go on to STL and that’s the question that Hawks fans need to be asking themselves. Can the Hawks beat then the Avs and Blues in a 7 game series?

    As for Avs yes, the Hawks are better and should win unless Seymon goes crazy which is entirely possibly. Does it really matter if the Hawks need to go to STL to win? The Blues have had the Hawks number this season by a slim margin but it really doesn’t matter if the Hawks open on the road at least not to this Hawks fan. I think the Hawks are a better more talented club then STL. I would rather have our roster over theres. They have nice players but I think if you go up and down the roster ours are better by a slim margin. I would rather have Crow over Halak, Keith/Seabrook over Pieterangelo/Boumester, and Kane/Toews over Backes and Steen.

    At the end of the day the Hawks are proven where is the Blues arent’t. STL would need to open the playoffs against one of the wild cards. Imagine if its LA or Vancouver. LA vs STL I’d rather have that LA team again,….just saying. The playoffs are a different animal and I like our team in SCP.

    Tab to clarify if a wild card wins how does round 2 look?

  46. AJ says:

    Phil, you get no disagreement from me there. If it is anymore than match fitness and confidence then he needs to not be on the ice.

    It wouldn’t be a bad thing for the Hawks if the NHL said no dice on the Olympics last minute and everyone got a nice two week breather…

  47. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Ebonyraptor..

    “It takes a big man to cry, and an even bigger man to make fun of that man.”

    Jack Handey

  48. ebonyraptor says:

    Rufus, I have no idea how to interpret

    “It takes a big man to cry, and an even bigger man to make fun of that man.”

    but I did get a chuckle out of it.

    Nicely played … I think … maybe? … ah, who cares cuz I did think it was funny :)

  49. Rufus T. Firefly says:

    Each hockey season there is usually one team in each conference that is considered the “favorite” to win the Conference. This season that team has to be St. Louis. If they fail to win a Stanley Cup this season, then it will be a failure. In same way a few years ago Vancouver was always the “favorite” within the Conference and found itself subject to ridicule when it could never win a Cup.

    This season that team is St. Louis. By all indications if they don’t win the Cup then they will be called the disappointment from the West (I’m not buying into the validity of Anaheim …they ain’t deep enough). Nor sure yet “the team ” in the East.

  50. JS says:

    Rufus- I don’t think anyone would have picked St. Louis over the Hawks at the start of the season. If you went around and asked now, I’m sure 80% of those polled would still say the Hawks are the favorite.

    The Hawks this year compared to last have lost 2 fourth liners and a guy who was regularly benched in favor of Dan Carcillo. I know Bolland and Frolik aren’t true fourth liners, but that is where they played in the playoffs. Smith has done a fantastic job in place of Frolik and has helped turn that “fourth line” into a decent checking line. Would anyone take Stalberg over Versteeg? So you’re just talking about Dave Bolland and no, Bollig isn’t good enough to replace Bolland.

    The biggest reason we are seeing a “fall off” is 1) because it’s not a 48 game season and slumps happen and 2) Bryan Bickell isn’t contributing to his full potential. If/when Bickell gets healthy (he can’t possibly play like this all season), the Hawks are once again the class of the league.

  51. Phil says:

    I think Pete got it right. St Louis has had a very favorable schedule. They have been good. They are winning and keeping opposing teams to low scores most games. The Blues have been the darlings of NHL media now to start each season for a few years. They have competed strong in the regular season. Two years ago it was because of insane goal tending tandem that played IMO way over their heads. They were slow though and could not score many goals. This hurt them in the playoffs. The difference this year is they are scoring goals. They have learned how to counter attack, and made the best of opportunities. Ever notice that THEIR point shots always seem to get through to the net? They also get lots of deflections that find their way to the back of the net. Call it puck luck or whatever, it seems likely the bounces at some point won’t go their way. When the points become really dear in the last 2 weeks of the season the Blues play 8 games in 13 days. It will probably be a battle down to the wire for our division. We play the Blues 2 more times at home. I still believe the guy with the C on his blue note jersey will be one of the big factors that leaves them wanting yet again when it is time for someone to hoist the Cup. Still think the Hawks will claim the division, but going into playoffs healthy will be key.

    Is Q gonna start the 4th line tonight to mess with Torts?
    Just kidding.
    Lets Go Hawks!

  52. wall says:

    JS- you answered/refuted your own comments… 67/36 ARE NOT 4th line players on 90% of teams in league… A COMPLETE LUXURY for the Hawks….
    and I for one- would take 25 (last year’s reg. season) over 23 (this year’s version)- I would take 25 just based on his good looks alone!!!

    But as important- 26 (was “lightning in a bottle”) and 29 is a complete DUD so far… So basically the Hawks are “Missing” 67,25,36,26,29…
    Ironically-the Hawks are left with the true 4th line players (26,29)
    67 and 36 in particular- have played/scored very well (on their higher lines) (of course Bad luck Bolly is hurt again)- but was having a great year!!!

  53. wall says:

    And I really like Smith too… But he can’t skate/check like Frolik!!!
    I always hated Frolik’s weak shot…But the guy can skate/check/shadow with some of the best… and 67/16 were always the last two guys on the ice in practice!!!

  54. Phil says:

    Come on Wall, what was Fro getting paid vs what Smith is getting? Fro left because of the money, period. Of course, it would have been great to keep him, but he was getting paid to score goals. For what he brought to the Cup winners though last year it was worth it, just because he was a real pain in the ass to play against and he helped us win another Cup. And that’s coming from a big Frolik fan. I loved Bolland too. The NHL is all about the cap space. That we have won 2 Cups in 4 years is almost miraculous. It is really hard to repeat, but to stay ultra competitive is a testament to the GM and staff.

  55. MS says:

    Regarding the comment from JS re: Pirri – I believe he can still be sent down this year but starting next year he cannot be sent down without clearing waivers. Interesting interview with Ted Dent – he gave very general answers to most questions but when asked who has made the biggest strides in Rockford he gushed about Nordstrom. Still is hard to understand why we are carrying Kostka who sits 2/3 of the time when we could have either Morin or Nordstrom up to keep the heat on Bicks (and others) to step up or sit down. Lastly as we play the Canucks tonight I haven’t seen any comments over the year on Ryan Stanton who despite being out for a few weeks recently with an injury has had a very solid year. From reading on Canuck sites they are very happy with their good fortune on the waiver claim. Not sure we feel the same way regarding Kostka. Stanton will get more time tonight as Tanev is out with an injury.

  56. JS says:

    Wall- Frolik played 12 minutes a game in the playoffs with a fare amount of that on PK duty. Stalberg was under 10. Bolland missed 5 games and was also around 12 as well.

    We must not forget that Handzus was dragged around by 10/81 last year. Those two can make anyone look good! I really think that if Pirri is given the chance, he can at least be as effective as Handzus was last year. (which in the playoffs was 15 minutes a game)

    I’m not giving up on Bickell. I think he will come around.

    My point about them being fourth line players is that most teams don’t even play their fourth line in the playoffs. Remember how often we saw the Bruins 4th line? Also, I can only hope that the Hawks put a Nordstrom/Morin/anyone in place of Bollig come playoff time. Kruger/Smith/Hockey Player would make a really good line.

  57. JS says:

    MS- his contract is up after this year, so I’m not sure how that works. I could swear I read somewhere that he as out of options… good chance I am imagining this, but I haven’t had booze since Sunday so my memory should be there.

    One more thing, Wall- how many minutes a game do you think Ryan Reaves is going to play in the playoffs? Are St. Louis fans freaking out that they don’t have enough depth?

  58. RedTopParking says:

    Ebony, et al: I’m totally digging the dustup w/ Rufus and Sr. Brad, definitely livening things up, keep ‘em rolling boys! Brad: Your analysis is sound, just fire back. Rufus: Love it when you poke him, he certainly talks a lot, so glad he wasn’t one of my professors

    Bickel is a scratch tonight (right, Q?). Hate to pile on because I want him to come back to form, but last night was just sick. Can’t decide on that one play where he was beaten leading to Flames goal and he went down on his a$$…did he blow a tire or was it like a dive

  59. Morrison says:

    sshm, yea try not to look but los is only 11 games over 500 & that’s means they are playing to not be the 4th seed which would play stl or chi. That’s one of the few good things about the realignment ‘current’ format is that if we are the 2 seed in our division, then stl is going to play los/van. Unless minn can beat one of those 3 teams.

    That is one of the things about the ‘current’ format I hate is that the higher division winner gets the 5th seed. I think if theres a 5th/extra team in, that has to play other division winner… Its too much of a spin the wheel gimmick (not going to say it.) and not a earned 82 game season where if 5 teams get in from one division that divisions winner has to play the 4th seed just because there in same/that division. Even half of the GMs where like wtf when the season had already started and this was decided 6mths/etc. before they all new it.

    Whatever, we play who we have to play. Though some thing about the format are bullshit. Like we could be 52-22 and the 2 seed and not have home ice for finals against a 45-25 Boston 1 seed. Its wonderfull in terms of which teams get into the playoffs, but not for the seeds. Seed all teams 1-16, they can still use the ‘current’ format for each round, but then at least the ‘right’ team would have home ice based on their regular season record/pts. not because they played in the easy/politian division.

  60. Martin M says:

    Bickell needs to be a scratch until he’s healthy.
    Handzus needs to be last year’s Mayers, a healthy scratch until he’s needed.
    Raanta needs to be playing 2 to 3 times a week in Rockford.

    That leaves:

    Sharp -Toews-Hossa
    Versteeg-Pirri-Kane
    Saad-Shaw-Brookbank
    Bollig-Kruger-Smith

    Keith-Seabrook
    Oduya-Hjarmalsson
    Leddy-Roszival

    Crawford
    LaBarbera

    Assuming no else is called up and Kostka is the other healthy scratch.

    Not ideal, but better than what they’ve been rolling out there recently.

  61. wall says:

    Phil, you are missing the point of My argument w JS– I know we couldn’t keep same roster cuz of Cap… JS- states we have virtually “same” team as last year – minus a couple of 4th liners… My point is – 67/36/25 aren’t “4th liners” AND – 26/29 (guys we kept) really are playing like 4th liners (or worse)… ISN’T IT IRONIC (don’t ya think)

  62. Phil says:

    I see your point within the argument you present. Guys don’t always land where they should be or belong. Hawks have had deep enough talent where the drop off was not so extreme as many teams, hence their success as a team. How’s 25 doing this year with the big bucks and non supportive cast? With the Hawks he was a 3rd -4th line guy. Fro didn’t score goals, but was fast and very effective as a role player. Can Zus and Bicks become $$ role players? We will find out over the next few months unless they really pick up their respective games.

    Game time. Let’s see what’s cookin’ in Van….

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